Large Marine Oilpainting: An Algerian Pirate Lugger is chased off Gibraltar, ca. 1880 - the three-masted Corsair Vessel is trying to escape from the British Naval Ship in the left background (which fires out of two cannons), on the right the Rock of Gibraltar - Oil on canvas, 66 by 94 cm (26 by 37 in), with frame 88 x 115 cm (34 5/8 by 45 in) - signed l.r. with monogram "FR" and anchor sign - cleaned, restored and in good condition, bright color, clearly visible age craquelure throughout, in the (original) heavy mahogony frame - Private Collection Fenland, UK

Note: Many Pirates in Algier and Northern Africa were captured by American and European forces during the attacks in the 1830s (eg. USS Constitution was originally built for this purpose). Anyway and - according to reports from British Naval Officers - several Pirates / Corsairs were still active in the remaining part of the 19th Century and as late as until 1900. The Straits of Gibraltar at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea was a preferred place where they were seeking merchant ships from Europe and America to enter and capture ship and crew. British Naval Ships from Gibraltar were on duty to chase the Pirates.

Spanish Artist
(monogram FR, ca. 1880)
* Photo Copyright is with the FineArtEmporium *

Presented by the FineArtEmporium in Hamburg.

Algerian Pirate Lugger
Spanish Artist (mongram FR, ca. 1880) - An Algerian Pirate Lugger is chased off Gibraltar - the lugger is shown sailing at maximum speed -
Photo Copyright is with the Fineartemporium - Go back to our For Sale Category


These photos have been taken at bright sunshine, depending on the conditions where the painting is hanging indoor it might appear darker on the wall.

Following are shown some more photos of the painting:


and a detail photo:




The unusual and special feature of this large oilpainting is the subject: Less than one of 3000 period Marine Paintings (done pre-1900) show a Pirate Ship as the main subject. Algerian Pirates, such as Hassan Pascha was frightening the crews of merchant vessels in the 19th Century. Also the background (Gibraltar) is shown comparable rarely on marine paintings (although more often than pirate ships). We have never seen before this unique combination of these both motifs like in this painting.

The Mediterranean Sea was often visited by American Traders and Ships in the end of the 18th and in the entire 19th Century, as we know from ship portraits of US Ships done in Southern France (eg. Marseilles) and Italy (eg. Naples). Most of the vessels passing Gibraltar were of cause British, followed by ships from other European countries, such as Germany, The Netherlands etc. Especially in British (Greenwich Maritime Mus.) and American (Peabody Museum Salem) collections we find a number of paintings with Gibraltar background.

Such large three-masted Pirate Luggers - as shown here - were dangerous enemies with up to 300 man onboard and they did not only steal the cargo and merchant ships itself, but also put the crew into North African Slavery (working for the local Pascha) or asked ransom money from the Shipping Companies or Admirality. Period paintings with pirate subjects are mainly known from Thomas Buttersworth (1768-1842), but such paintings command quite high prices. A large work like this with a pirate subject by Buttersworth would be in the region of 30.000 to 50.000 Pounds (US$ 57,000 to 95,000). There are a few other artists in the 19th Century who depicted pirates as well, but when it comes to this subject it always gets expensive. So because we are with this painting not aware of the identity of the artist who signed it with the monogram it offers an unique chance to purchase such a motif from the period for "little" money. Apart from the special subject it is of cause a nice and quite representative marine painting, with the ship depicted with many details, with the "romantic" partly blue-yellow sky which can only be produced by an artist with many layers of color and long working time and finally with the age craquelure everybody can notice immediately that this is a painting from the 19th Century and more than 120 years old. There is no contemporary marine painting which could produce this effect. The large and massive wooden frame - which is original to the painting - adds another appeal to the entire picture.

Please look to the photos, if you find the craquelure disturbing for your taste, please do not buy this painting. Most paintings from the 19th Century show some sort of age craquelure, sometimes more strong (such as in this case) and sometimes less. Several layers of new varnish has been applied on the surface of this painting and the paint is stable of cause. Please note that the best viewing distance for this painting is 8 to 10 feet and that you need a suitable space to hang it - this is not a painting for a small room - but good for a living room or office or onboard of a larger yacht / cruise ship.